“Peter Chin is FAMOUS. He pastors a church that is several tens of millions of people strong. All the best and most famous pastors proudly give him ringing endorsements, including that guy in Colorado, and the other one in Minnesota. His Twitter followers outnumber the stars in the sky.”
Psych. I’m not that kind of guy. I mean, “HE’S not that kind of guy.” Because I’m supposed to write this in third person, as if I didn’t write it myself.
I don’t really believe in the fusion between Christianity and celebrity status, that a Christian’s worth is measured by how famous they are, or how many Twitter followers they possess. I’m not going to play that game, and refuse to identify and distinguish myself in this manner. Sorry.
So who am I then, if not a famous and widely recognized Christian leader? I am a graduate of Yale University and Fuller Seminary, husband to a courageous breast cancer survivor, and father to five beautiful children. I’m a pastor who has planted two churches and now serves as lead pastor of Rainier Avenue Church of Seattle. I’ve been featured on the Washington Post and NPR, and blog for Christianity Today. I was even on TV once too!
But more than anything, I’m a man who came very close to losing everything.
In December of 2009, only two months after planting a church, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes. Our health insurance provider decided to terminate our coverage, labeling her condition as “pre-existing”. And minutes before her mastectomy, we also found out that she was pregnant with our third child. Experts advised us to terminate the pregnancy to give my wife her best chance at survival.
But we felt convicted that God had given us this child for a reason, and that despite the darkness of our situation, believed that all things were possible with God. We decided to keep the baby while my wife simultaneously underwent intensive chemotherapy, praying that God would protect both of those precious lives. And in the fall of 2010, we celebrated two milestones: my wife was cancer-free, and gave birth to a healthy baby boy that we named Jonathan: “A gift from God”.
So if I make any claim to credibility (the operative word being “IF”), it is not by virtue of what I have done well, but by what I’ve seen. I have witnessed God save me and my family from the darkest of situations, in the strangest of ways. If I comment on faith or church or race, as I often do, I do so as a person who trusts that God can do anything, but knows that He rarely does things in the manner we would like.
Thanks for visiting the site – please take some time to peruse, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. The chances that I will reply back are near 90%. Unless I am preaching that week, in which case that percentage drops quite considerably.